Many players stood out at last month’s Old Firm win. All in blue, naturally. But while Scott Arfield, Ross McCrorie and Joe Worrall not to mentioned Andy Halliday got most of the plaudits, it was the spectacular display from returning Ryan Kent which lit Ibrox up in a way we’ve not seen for years in that fixture.
The on-loan Liverpool winger hit the zenith of his Rangers career by some distance, absolutely destroying Celtic’s rearguard and humiliating Scott Brown on several occasions, and it appears this stellar showing has propelled the Rangers board into action and talks are set to get underway on, at the very least, extending Kent’s loan in Govan till beyond the summer.
The ex-Freiburg winger has clearly stated he wants to stay, and while we suggested a flanker of this quality could cost upwards of £5M (easily more, let’s be honest), the two clubs (Rangers and Liverpool) will try to work out a way to keep Kent at Ibrox on a feasible cost basis to the Govan club.
Obviously a loan extension does seem the most valid outcome, but of course there comes a point, when Kent’s form is enough that Rangers fans want this player to be on a permanent deal rather than vulnerable to recall or to going out on loan at another destination.
But doing that is money Rangers simply cannot justify. Steven Gerrard probably does have that kind of cash, but not for one player. Admittedly we’ve spent nothing this window, albeit negotiations continue over Dundee’s Glen Kamara, so any budget has barely been scratched, outwith wages, naturally.
Ergo, increasing Kent’s loan period to a minimum 18 months (January 2020) Jermain Defoe style may be the most useful way forward to keeping all parties happy.
When on form Kent is untouchable, and has shown several times this season he can handle the SPL. He has suffered some injury malaise, true, but he’s still a growing lad and may get stronger to withstand the not inconsiderable rigours of our top flight.
Because either way, he is one we really want to hold onto.